I read many articles online about leadership. One article that I love is, Slay Your Dragons Before Breakfast. You can click here and read an article in its entirety. I have adjusted the ideas of the article to fit my life and platform, but the overall concept is mind blowing. I believe some of these ideas can be useful for you as well.
Every Morning I Wake Up To A Big Scary Fire-Breathing Dragon
(Think Smaug from The Hobbit)
I am disorientated each morning as I lay under my warm covers not wanting to deal with the dragon staring at me at the end of my bed. However, this dragon is a reality not a bad dream. As I slowly get up, maybe after I hit the snooze button a few times, I begin to realize that I must make a choice: Deal with this dragon or try to pretend it is not there.
This dragon, however, is no ordinary dragon. This dragon has three heads. These heads will stop me from having a day with purpose and intentionality. I must fight them off one at a time. At this point, the best and only real logical choice is to attack each head with ferocity and enthusiasm. Go on the offensive!
Before I eat breakfast when it is still dark outside I square off with each head of this hideous monster. The heads that I must deal with are:
Engage those endorphins. There is a strong connection between physical exercise and mental clarity. I like listening to music or listening to a sermon while I exercise. I have heard of leaders listening to books on tape as well. Stay in shape (looking like a pear, that isn’t the shape I am talking about) and take care of this early. If I put it off, I will not get it done later.
2. Mind And Soul Interaction
I like reading my Bible. This focuses my mission and my purpose of why I even woke up. I read and pray through my One Year Bible. It has a passage from the Old Testament, the New Testament, a Psalm and a Proverb all sectioned out for me already. I enjoy this time and find myself emotionally, spiritually, and intellectually stimulated for the day ahead. It is like oil to the machine that is my brain.
3. My Priorities
A good leader thinks about their day. They make a game plan and schedule it out. I write down (sometimes when I am in a hurry; I use a crayon and a scrap piece of paper) the goals I have for the day and when I plan on accomplishing them. For example, I am writing this post between teaching classes and I will edit it tonight. This was scheduled early in my day. I write down goals and other things I need to get accomplished. It is helpful, but not mandatory, to put the goals in a list of priority. You may not get to everything. Transfer what you do not get done to tomorrow.
I will only be victorious if I get up early. Getting up on time is directly reflected by what time you go to bed. You go to bed on time; you get up on time. I have little ones at home, and they wake up very early! This means I get up even earlier. I try to be in bed before 9pm and asleep by 10pm. It is hard though and takes much discipline because I am a night owl. If I stay up too late, I pay for it in the morning.
This routine is very important to me. It keeps me scheduled, focused, and productive.
If I Do not Take Care Of Any Or All Of These Heads Before Breakfast, I Am Playing Catch Up All Day.
Let’s be honest, if I miss one of these I am not doing them later (especially exercise). When the workday begins, things pile up, and busyness is inevitable.
Now Go Eat Breakfast!
Some people have told me they don’t eat in the morning, If you only eat lunch and dinner that’s probably 6pm-12pm the next day without food and fuel your body needs. That is 18 hours without food! That is crazy. Eat something even if it is a green smoothie to go.
So what heads does your dragons have? Do you have a strategy to defeat its heads before breakfast?